Increasing platform performance by 50% for On The Beach using AWS

On The Beach

The client

About On The Beach

On The Beach is a UK-based supplier of retail package holidays. It provides over 1.5 million customers each year with flight and accommodation combinations to beaches around Europe, and to long haul destinations like Thailand, the Caribbean and the US. Launched in 2004 as a startup, the company performed an IPO in 2015, listing on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of £250 million.

On The Beach_feature-05

Key Outcomes

We worked in partnership with the team at On The Beach to devise and execute their cloud migration strategy, which greatly increased their platform performance, uptime, agility, and ability to scale.

  • Performance 50% improvement in performance
  • Availability 99.9% Platform uptime
  • Agility & Scaling Increased speed to market for new products and capability to scale efficiently
The Challenge

Building a cloud platform for growth

On The Beach was running its travel platform and backend IT systems from two on-premises data centres. With a highly technical staff, the brand was operating its data centres as efficiently as possible, but with more growth expected, it was investigating how cloud might provide a more flexible alternative.

Although the company was generally happy with its on-premises data centres, it recognised that cloud was now a mature technology that could allow easy scaling and provide a foundation for growth.

On The Beach’s engineering team was being slowed down because they were on premises, meaning that individual applications and updates needed to be installed on physical servers as well as individual devices. Therefore, their main justification for using cloud was that it could improve their speed to market and allow them to scale quickly. In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the travel industry, the company decided that the time was right to execute its cloud migration. 

After comparing offerings from different cloud providers, the company chose to use AWS because of its diverse range of services and its ability to optimise costs. Although it had the technical expertise in-house, On The Beach wanted a trusted external cloud expert - AND Digital - to manage the overall migration project.


On The Beach_feature-06-1

“This was a joint exercise with AND Digital — we executed a full and seamless migration from two data centres into the cloud within 12 months. AND Digital sought to understand our environment, people, and work processes, before applying its knowledge, skills, and experience to help us deliver this key project. They instantly felt like members of the team. Working alongside us, combining knowledge and experience with a cohesive approach underpinned by robust process.”

Jason Vickerman Director - Infrastructure & Security, On The Beach

A cloud migration strategy to transfer workloads and knowledge

The migration kicked off in early 2022 with AND Digital orchestrating and managing the project to make sure that the various product teams worked together in a cohesive way.

After about 9 months of preparation, the actual migration was completed in a matter of weeks. An intelligent lift and shift approach was adopted making tactical use of AWS services where they provided a like-for-like managed service.

We provided several cloud engineers - working to a migration plan - to help fill gaps in On The Beach’s technical skills. We also provided mentoring and knowledge transfer to ensure that, once the migration was completed, On The Beach had the necessary skills to manage on its own. This meant that the migration hit all of its deadlines and On The Beach’s teams were left equipped to own and operate their new cloud platform.

On The Beach’s on-premises setup was well suited to a move to cloud as they were already operating in a cloud-like environment utilising containerised applications using Kubernetes and running over 100 microservices.

The brand was running MySQL databases and chose to use Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), which is a collection of managed services that makes it simple to set up, operate, and scale databases in the cloud. Its application was already containerised using Kubernetes so they chose to use Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), a managed Kubernetes service, to run Kubernetes in the AWS cloud and on-premises data centres.

On The Beach_feature-08
The Results

A scalable, reliable platform that empowers both customers and technical teams

The migration has resulted in a 50% speed increase across all applications, 99.9% uptime, and created an agile, scalable infrastructure that provides the perfect foundation for innovation.

On The Beach’s customers enjoy a better experience and its technical teams have more time to work on higher value projects instead of maintaining the data centres, with an increased flexibility to respond to evolving business needs.

On The Beach_feature-07
Case studies

See our impact elsewhere

More successful digital transformation projects...

Want to learn more about the work we do with clients? Take a look below.

Talk to us.

Get in touch to discuss your digital ambitions.

Contact us